It was a struggle, but the St. Charles golf team won its 12th consecutive CCL championship.

The Cardinals shot a 323 to defeat runner-up Watterson by four strokes in the league postseason tournament Sept. 22 at Denison Golf Club. DeSales (355) was third, followed by Hartley (365) and Ready (468).

The Cardinals finished 8-0 in the two rounds of CCL play, followed by Watterson (6-2), DeSales (3-5), Hartley (3-5) and Ready (0-8).

Coach Brian Unk said the final round was difficult, beginning with the tee time.

"I'm not sure what happened because we were supposed to tee off at 1 p.m. but they didn't have us down," he said. "I guess no one set up a tee time. The next available spot was at 2:30 (p.m.) and that had us going pretty late."

Jason Zehala led the Cardinals with a 79, with Watterson's Fred Gilbert shooting 77 to earn medalist honors. Luke Gutman (80), Vince Campagni (81), Jake Lowis (83) and Reece Yakubov (83) also competed for St. Charles.

"It was really windy and the greens were firm," Zehala said. "It was definitely tough. We finished in the dark. The round was really long."

Unk said the conditions made the round difficult for all of the golfers.

"It was firm on the greens and the wind was blowing around 20 mph," he said. "(The dryness) made it tough to putt, and the wind was a real factor. A lot of good players were shooting high scores, but we did enough to win."

St. Charles now prepares for the postseason, beginning with a Division I sectional Tuesday, Oct. 1, at Denison Golf Club. The Cardinals are seeded third in the district behind Olentangy Liberty and Dublin Jerome.

At sectional, the top four teams and top four individuals not on those teams advance to district Oct. 8 at Apple Valley.

"We have to have a better strategy for when we play here at sectional," said Unk, whose team also competes Saturday, Sept. 28, in the Jerome Honorary Invitational at the Country Club at Muirfield Village. "We definitely have to sharpen up our short games."

Football team looks to rebound

The football team hopes to bounce back from its first loss when it travels to Dayton Carroll on Friday, Sept. 27.

The Cardinals lost to Middletown Fenwick 16-0 on Sept. 20 to fall to 3-1.

The Patriots are 2-2 after losing to Watterson 41-28 on Sept. 20. They also lost to DeSales 35-28 on Aug. 30.

Quarterback Trent Fox paced the Patriots against Watterson, completing 20 of 32 passes for 282 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions. Donovan LaJeunesse had six catches for 118 yards and Steven Chapman had five catches for 109 yards.

"They run a spread offense and they are a good team," coach Deke Hocker said. "We'll have some things to clean up. We need to get better at what we do and be more disciplined taking care of the ball."

The Cardinals had three turnovers against Fenwick. Luke Eversole had 90 yards rushing on 26 carries, and Andy Mason was 9-for-23 passing for 76 yards and two interceptions.

Roland Rowe had six catches for 79 yards.

"We turned the ball over two times inside (our) 15-yard line," Hocker said. "The opening drive of the game was 16 plays, took up most of the first quarter and we didn't score. We gave up two punt returns to set up a score."

Isaiah Yarngo and Joseph Umba had interceptions for the Cardinals.

Karas wins race for cross country team

Owen Karas of the cross country team won the Tiger Invitational on Sept. 21 at Pickerington Central in 15 minutes, 47.5 seconds.

The Cardinals were fifth (118 points) of nine teams behind champion Gahanna (41).

Ethan Encarnacion (18th, 17:17.0), Caleb Lipkin (26th, 17:53.8), Colin Hayter (33rd, 18:06.9) and William Ferris (42nd, 18:24.3) also scored.

shennen@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekHennen

Schedules

Below are the coming schedules for the St. Charles cross country, soccer and water polo teams:

CROSS COUNTRY

Sept. 28 -- Erin Nance Fall Distance Classic at London Country Club

SOCCER

Sept. 26 -- At Wellington

Oct. 1 -- Home vs. Hilliard Darby

WATER POLO

Sept. 28 -- Upper Arlington Duals

Oct. 2 -- Home vs. Worthington Kilbourne